6 I EUROPEAN SEED I EUROPEAN-SEED.COM S een as a means to drive economic growth and create jobs, Horizon 2020 has the political backing of Europe’s leaders and the Members of the European Parliament. They agreed that research is an investment in our future and so they put it at the heart of the EU’s blueprint for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and jobs. The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation. The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation will be complemented by further measures to complete and further develop the European Research Area. These measures will aim at breaking down barriers to create a genuine single market for knowledge, research and innovation. No one will deny that innovation is crucial. Without innovation we’d be sitting around woodfires in front of a cave wor- ried about the next storm. In order to get a better look at the EU’s policy for R&I projects, European Seed sat down with Marc Cornelissen, who recently moved to BASF and chairs the European Technology Platform "Plants for the Future". EUROPEAN SEED (ES): MARC, THE EUROPEAN UNION HAS BEEN AND CONTINUES TO INVEST IN RESEARCH AND INNOVATION (R&I) PROJECTS. ARE THEY DOING A GOOD JOB? WHY IT MATTERS Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €€80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020). And this is in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. The EU promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market. But are we spending the money in the right places? MARC CORNELISSEN (MC): The goal of the R&I investments is to sustain and build out welfare in Europe. It is about living standards, public health, resource sustainability, business development and attractiveness, etc. It is against those dimensions that the appropriateness of the EU R&I spending need to be assessed. This requires a kind of European mul- ti-year masterplan against which one benchmarks. The good news is that the EU does regularly develop and publish strategy papers in multiple fields. It also periodically benchmarks its R&I invest- ment efforts against those of other world regions. The 2017 Lab-Fab-App report states that Europe is amongst the best in class with respect to scientific output and struggles to translate this effectively into innovation. In Europe we furthermore appear to be relatively better in “optimisations” than in “step changes”. In my opinion this has a lot to do with European industry structure, maturity and switching costs. To progress, one has first to dive deep into how value chains and associated ecosys- tems are build up, operate, share value, innovate and handle risk. So, in short: In Europe, several core elements are practiced, such as vision development, strategy implementation, set up of diverse financial buckets, progress tracking and benchmarking. Yet the pro- ductivity of the R&I could improve through making use of a deeper understanding of the value chain inter- and intra-play. ARE WE SPENDING THE EU MONEY IN THE RIGHT PLACES? IMPROVING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF EUROPE’S RESEARCH AND INNOVATION PROJECTS. BY: MARCEL BRUINS Marc Cornelissen